2004 Ford Explorer How does my AWD work?

Tiny
JRAPPY87
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 FORD EXPLORER
  • V8
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 74,000 MILES
I don't have any 4X4 buttons or anything and I don't have advance trac. So how does my AWD system work? Correct me if i'm wrong, it has 3 differentials, one in the front, near transmission and in the back. On normal driving conditions, each tire gets 25% of the torque. Lets say the front of the car is on ice and the back on pavement, won't all the power be directed to the front of the car because of the center open differential? Isn't it true the differential sends power to the tire with the LEAST resistance? Or even if one tire gets tons of traction and the opposite tire no traction, won't the ice tire get all the power because, it's called the path of least resistance? I'm just trying to figure out the proper name of my AWD since no electronics are involved. Thanks
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Monday, October 26th, 2009 AT 5:52 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
If the vehicle is AWD, then it is in 4wd all of the time and you don't need to turn it on. THe vehicle has 2 differentials, a front and a rear. The item in the center (near the trans) is called a transfercase. It is the part that sends the power to both front and rear.

As far as traction, the tire with the least resistance will spin first. However, at least one front and one rear tire will spin, so if you have the front on ice and the rear has traction, you will still go.

Let me know if you have other questions.

Joe
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Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 AT 7:59 AM
Tiny
JRAPPY87
  • MEMBER
Ok, so now lets say the whole right side of the car was on ice and the left was on pavement. The car wouldn't go? Because the tires have less resistance on ice therefore all the power would go to the stuck tires and not the tires with good traction? Also, do you think the rear differential is a limited slip? Thanks
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Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 AT 10:32 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Chances are the tires on the ice would spin. If you have a limited slip differential, and you most likely do, then the differential should allow both sides to spin back and forth. The only true 4wd that I know of was from Jeep with the quadratrac. Both front and rear axles were positraction which made both wheels turn on the same axle.
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Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 AT 10:41 AM
Tiny
JRAPPY87
  • MEMBER
Ohh ok. Thanks a lot for your help. If only my car had advance trac. Too bad it is standard on the models of the explorer 06 and on. :-(
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Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 AT 1:57 PM

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